British store flayed for selling jackets with concealed knives

October 3rd, 2008 - 6:27 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 3 (IANS) In a city which has witnessed 27 knife deaths this year alone, a clothing store has shocked people by selling jackets with hidden knives attached inside.TK Maxx, popular with teenagers, is stocking hooded coats priced at 59 pounds which have a chain with a blade on the end concealed in an inner pocket.

The store, which has more than 200 outlets in the UK, has been accused of “promoting knife crime”. Ironically, the store has taken the decision to sell the jackets just one year after one of its own female members of staff was stabbed to death at work.

The jackets - known as Strellson Jackets and imported from Switzerland - would normally sell for 200 pounds but have been reduced to 59 pounds at the store which specialises in budget clothing.

They are fitted with penknives with 2-and-a-half inch blades which are attached to chains sewn into the lining.

The chain leads to an inside pocket which means the knives are concealed from outside view.

Joan Holland, whose son Andrew, 16, was killed by a knife last year said: “It’s horrendous. They are promoting knife crime.”

Steve Gale of Farnborough, who nearly bought a jacket, said: “I pulled the chain and out came this knife. I couldn’t believe it. It was actually part of the coat. Imagine how you would feel if you bought that for your kid.”

A spokesman for TK Maxx told Daily Mail: “We became aware that a branded coat on sale included a pocket penknife as a promotional gift. We removed the items swiftly from the supply chain. All store teams have been alerted to this and as a matter of urgent priority have removed all related items from the shops.”

It is illegal to market a blade in any way likely to encourage violence or to sell knives to under-18s.

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